2 Effective Ways to Protect Your Home From Wildfires
The FireWatch Team
The thought of a fire destroying your home is probably the stuff of nightmares. With the catastrophic wildfires that are currently burning in over 23 locations across the state of California, this threat may feel like it's far too close to home for comfort. A single wildfire in Trinity County has already destroyed 72 homes and consumed over 11,000 acres of land.
These horrific numbers may have led you to think about how well your home would fare if a wildfire was raging close to you. In many scenarios, there is little that homeowners or firefighters can do to save homes in the face of uncontrollable and ferocious fires.
However, many properties have been saved from complete destruction because of protective measure that homeowners have taken. If you'd like to improve your home's wildfire protection levels, then here are the two most effective ways that you can do it.
1. Install a Rooftop Sprinkler System
Sprinkler systems are most commonly used in commercial buildings to protect against internal fires. Many homes also use them internally to prevent the risk of house fires with an internal starting point. Sprinkler systems are also a highly effective tool for protecting a house from wildfire damage. Rooftop sprinkler systems are commonly used safety measures in other wildfire-prone countries such as Canada and Australia. However, their use in California or other U.S. states is not nearly as widespread. This is despite the fact that past events have shown them to be a highly successful way of protecting property in serious fire events.
In the Ham Lake wildfire in 2007, the effectiveness of these sprinkler systems was proven. Over 72 percent of the properties that survived the fire were fitted with rooftop sprinkler systems and only one structure with a sprinkler system was destroyed.
Rooftop sprinklers are also an affordable measure to take if you have a roof that's made of highly flammable materials. Timber shingles and vinyl roof coverings should ideally be replaced by less flammable materials. If this option is out of your budget, then a sprinkler system will make your roof significantly safer in a wildfire.
2. Protect Your Home From Ember Attack
When wildfires rage, it's easy to imagine that homes are destroyed simply by being in the direct path of the blaze. However, many homes catch on fire because of small embers which can be blown ahead or around the fire for considerable distances. These embers may be small but they have the ability to set homes alight if they don't have adequate ember protection. The simplest way to prevent an ember attack is to remove any items that may be vulnerable to being set alight by embers. This includes any debris in your gutters, and flammable fuel that’s been stored in the vicinity of your home and dead or dry fire fuel such as sticks, firewood or garden waste.
Embers have also been known to ignite homes by entering through small exterior openings such as gutters, under doors and air vents. These openings can be protected from ember attacks by covering them with wire mesh or installing ember guards that are now being manufactured. If you'd like to install a rooftop sprinkler system on your home or you'd simply like an assessment of your home’s fire safety, then contact the team at FireWatch. They can supply and install a sprinkler system and advise you on any other measures that you can take to make your home less vulnerable to fire.
Their team can also ensure that any new or existing fire safety measures are serviced and maintained regularly and will be in good working order if a fire ever does occur.